The DMZ - Part 1 of 2

Last weekend, Johnnie and I took a bus tour to the DMZ of Korea. DMZ stands for DeMilitarized Zone.  The DMZ is a 4km-wide strip of land between North Korea and South Korea.  It spans 155 miles across the entire Korean Peninsula.  It is the most heavily armed and guarded border in the world but rarely do any hostilities take place, at least in recent years.  Despite any possible risks, the DMZ is a highly visited location for tourists.

Not much to see outside due to rain, luckily we had a movie to watch about the DMZ.

Nearing the DMZ, razor wire fences and guarded lookout posts line the river beside the road.
Interesting fact: look at North Korea on Google Maps... it's blank.

This cement structure is rigged with explosives to collapse it and block the road in case of invasion.

Our first stop on the tour was the Imjingak Resort Park.  There are many monuments and attractions to see here including the Freedom Bridge and the Peace Bell.  There is also a row of food and souvenir vendors and a small amusement park with a few rides.

The Freedom Bridge was named after 12,773 Korean prisoners returned from North Korea in 1953.

The Peace Bell is a 21 ton bell which was made with the desire for peace and unification.

This is a steam locomotive that got derailed by bombs during the Korean War.

This chainlink fence had thousands of ribbons with handwritten messages hanging from it.

I swear I didn't see the sign until after I took the photo!

Our next stop was Tunnel #3.  South Korea has discovered four tunnels (so far) that the North Koreans dug to gain access to South Korea for a potential invasion.  The 3rd tunnel was discovered in 1978 and is only 44km from Seoul, the capital of South Korea.  It is 1.1 miles long and is 240 feet below ground.  It is capable of moving one full division of soldiers and their weapons per hour.  Photographs inside the tunnel are forbidden so we were not allowed to take cameras into it.

Tourists posing with a statue by the tunnel #3 entrance.

The next stop was the Dora Observatory.  From here, visitors can overlook North Korea.

You are not allowed to take any pictures once you pass over the Photo Line.

It was so foggy that we couldn't see anything!

This is the last toll on Highway 1 before North Korea.  It is not open for any traffic.

Related Post:

"What a cruel thing is war:  to separate and destroy families and friends, to mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world."
~Robert E. Lee, letter to his wife, 1864

1 comment:

  1. My husband used to patrol the DMZ. We have a demilitarized zone sign that he brought home for a souvenir. He was there when Kim Il-sung was President of North Korea. Kim Jong-il became the North Korean leader I think in 1994 and that is around the time my husband came back to the states. Thanks for sharing your pictures.